You probably wouldn’t give much thought as to what kinds of beer you might find in Beijing, only assuming that you would only find lagers. So it was actually pretty surprising what we came across. I had done a little research, and by research I mean typing in “brewery” into Google Maps. If you know me, you probably know that I do this a lot. What did I find in Beijing? Great Leap Brewing. So of course we had to make plans to visit the Original No. 6 Location. We were staying just a block north of the Forbidden City, so Google Maps told us it would be about a 20 minute walk. Not a big deal.
Google Maps did not account for construction and the location itself being way back in a hutong (small side street/neighborhood). We had walked past the main road in. Found the next option. Cut in on the hutong. Walking. Walking. Arguing. Walking. Jen was about to give up and I wanted to continue. Luckily, an older Chinese man was peddling by on a bike. Waved at us to follow him. We did. He pointed around this tiny corner. And there it was, rusted out on the door “Great Leap Brewing.”
We enter. Small patio. Small bar inside, and still so incredibly hot everywhere. We went inside to order and they had been having a problem with their coolers, so only a limited number of beers were cold. Bummer because I wanted to try something hoppy (you don’t get much hoppy in lagers in Asia). I had the “Heaven in Earth” Kolsch and Jen had the “Iron Buddha” Blonde. Both were good. But like I said, I wanted hoppy.
We met another American couple, Goldie and Larry, who were ironically from Tucson, Arizona (where we spent the winter of 2010 for 5 months). It was great to talk to them about traveling in China and Beijing. And all that we both had encountered with people trying to scam us or the idiosyncrasies of the Chinese people (ie. lots of spitting, men baring their midriffs when hot, babies defecating on sidewalks, etc). We had two beers each and then left with Goldie and Larry as guides out to a main road to grab something to eat at a night market.
Other beers we had in China, which are featured in the gallery above:
Tsingtao – They sold it in the Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City, so we thought why not? And had one. You can get this one in the U.S. So not really a big deal to have one.
Yangjing – They quintessential Beijing beer. It was everywhere, lagery & super cheap.
Pineapple Juice Beer – And that is exactly what it tasted like. So good and refreshing when it was 95 degrees out.
Overall, I would recommend a visit to Great Leap Brewing if you are in the neighborhood. I certainly never thought I’d be at a microbrewery in China, so there is a first for everything.
The first two photos were taken by Goldie at Great Leap Brewing. Click here to read some of Goldie & Larry’s Chinese Adventures.
Where did we stay in Beijing?
King Parkview Hotel – Just north of the Forbidden City, the King Parkview Hotel has such a great location. The hotel has a nice breakfast & terrace for city views.